The world’s top hoteliers are often dipping their toes into new ventures that go beyond property. The latest? The Ritz-Carlton, which just announced last week that it has its sights set on something bigger. And no, it’s not another hotel in Europe.
The luxury hotelier is taking its renowned hospitality out to sea, by announcing its foray into luxury yachting and cruises. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection is a three-ship fleet of 298-passenger vessels geared towards the luxury yacht cruise sector — joining the ranks of well-known names such as Seadream Yacht Club, Windstar Cruises, Silversea Cruises, Crystal’s Esprit and France’s Ponant.
The first of the three lavish cruising yachts is slated to head out to sea in the fourth quarter of 2019, distinguishing Marriott International as the only provider of luxury accommodation options both on land and at sea.
Promising a greater percentage of large-scale suites than its competitors, each ship boasts 149 all-suite, balconied cabins. The yachts will also feature two 138 square-metre lavish duplex penthouse suites designed by The Ritz-Carlton in collaboration with leading cruise ship design firm, Tillberg Design of Sweden.
Itineraries are focused on combining the hospitality of The Ritz-Carlton’s luxury resorts with the casual, free-spirited nature of a yachting vacation. Voyages range from seven to 10 days, and travel to a variety of destinations including the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Locations such as Capri, Portofino to St Barths and the old town of Cartagena — which are typically not accessible to large cruise ships — are also available, and can accommodate the 190-metre vessel.
The Ritz-Carlton offers the option of both overnight and daytime ports of call, so if you want a uniquely curated destination experience, this is it.
“This unique combination of yachting and cruising will usher in a new way of luxury travel for guests seeking to discover the world in a relaxed, casually elegant and comfortable atmosphere with the highest level of personalised service,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.
The yachts will not be short on culinary offerings, either. They will feature a restaurant by Sven Elverfeld of Aqua at The Ritz-Carlton, Wolfsburg, and a Panorama Lounge and wine bar offering a wide variety of onboard entertainment. The Ritz-Carlton will also offer one-of-a-kind curated destination journeys through collaborations with local chefs, musicians and artists — both onboard and ashore.
While the next two will follow in early 2021 and early 2022, bookings for The Ritz-Carlton’s debut yacht will open in May 2018 for voyages in 2019.